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A Brief History of Banana Ketchup

From the Philippines to Fila Manila

Banana Ketchup is among the quintessential condiments of the Philippines. Its vibrant coloring and taste that is equally sweet and tangy, is irresistible. With the popularity of Filipino food on the rise, it’s a great time to discuss where this unique product came from. Banana Ketchup has a quite interesting history that traces back to World War II. Let’s briefly take a look at Banana Ketchup’s fascinating history.

Maria Oraso was a Filipino food technologist, pharmaceutical chemist, and humanitarian. She set her sights on lowering the Philippines imports to promote a more sustainable culture. She combined her skill for food science and passion for her nation, and developed a tomato-less ketchup known as Banana Ketchup.

Maria Oraso traveled to the United States to obtain a bachelors and masters degree in Chemistry and pharmaceutical science at the University of Washington. In fact, she was so successful in her studies, she was offered a position as an assistant chemist at her school, but as a committed nationalist, she chose to return to the Philippines to share her knowledge with her country.

Before creating the first Banana Ketchup, Maria created a soybean based and nutrient rich beverage called Soyolac, to aid in fighting disease in the Philippines.

When the second World War was raging, the price of imports increased significantly, and there was a push for smaller countries to become self-sustainable. Tomato plants were difficult to grow in the Philippines tropical climate and were an expensive import at the time, so Maria Oraso set out to create a solution. With the abundance of Bananas in her country, she decided to create a tomato-less ketchup with a banana puree, sugar, vinegar, and Filipino spices. 

In 1942, the first bottled Banana Ketchup hit shelves in the Philippines were a hit with locals! Since then, it has become a staple of the Filipino pantry. Fila Manila’s Banana Ketchup sets itself apart from other condiments by including no fake ingredients/dye, No MSG, and has natural ingredients, so you can feel good about what you are eating and know it is authentic. 

Click HERE to see authentic Filipino recipes that include Banana Ketchup

Featured Product:

Fila Manila's Banana Ketchup is NEXTY Award winning product.